Monday, January 25, 2010

Healthy Kid Ideas

I am not a health nut. I like my sugar and real butter, I have a caffeine addiction, and I never take vitamins. I am, however, a dietitian that is kinda nerdy about food. I get excited about food that tastes good and is good for me. I think simple is best when it comes to a healthy diet...for me, anyway.

I have a few things that have worked for me to make things a little healthier around here and I thought I'd share- just in case it would work for someone else.

A water bottle for every member of the family. Fill 'em up at night, put in the refrigerator, and there is cold water for the next day. It cuts down on washing cups and you don't have to run and get something for them whenever you hear, "I'm thirsty!" They don't spill, and you can take them on the go. If they are not used to drinking water, give it time, they will acquire a taste for it.

Fruit bowl. Have a taste test with your kids and determine their favorite apples. Keep them in a bowl on the counter for a quick snack if needed.

Small, fun kid plates. Keeping the plate size small helps keep portion sizes small. I like to keep them on a low shelf so the kids can participate in setting the table.

Be adventurous together. Challenge each other to try new foods.

Use sliders buns. For hamburgers and sandwiches, use a smaller serving size of buns. I allow them to eat more than one, but they are less likely to overeat if they start out with a small size and are allowed the choice of seconds.

Talk, talk, talk. Talk about the food you eat, where it came from, how you prepare it, what food group it is, and how you like it. Value their opinion and possible suggestions.

Keep an open mind. Not all kids hate broccoli.

Use gimmicks. I don't go overboard, but I give them a whole carrot and tell them to eat like Bugs Bunny. With broccoli, eat the leaves off the trees. Tell them eating right will keep them strong and drinking water will make their skin look beautiful, or put goldfish crackers in tomato soup and have them go "fishing".

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